Female genital Cutting made me think. It seems unfair to just condemn a practice and culture totally without taking into account the importance of ritual in people's lives.
For many cultures, becoming a woman is a huge part of their life. A momentous occasion celebrated or marked with secret rituals or public parties. There can be all kinds of reasons, becoming a woman may be a time that your life changes in so many ways, maybe you are now ready to marry, or to have a say in group meetings. Maybe as a woman you can now cook and share stories, becoming part of a larger clan, leaving your childish ways behind.
It's not something we talk about much, but I really think if we want to end FGM we should look at other ways to mark an important time in a girl's life. No one wants to lose an important part of their culture, but they can change it. (I realise not all FGM happens after girls reach womanhood, it's just an example) Maybe a ritual washing of new babies? A secret woman only party for young girls?
Read about how some Maasai women are changing things here.
In the west we seem to have left the importance of
'becoming a woman' far behind. We no longer put any emphasis on the
first menstruation of a young woman, caring more about actual ages, 16
to get married, 17 to drive, 18 to drink...
Do you have a daughter? Will her first period be a time of celebration?
Or will you ignore it? I like the idea of a female celebration, to
represent the entry to adulthood.
There are even Period Packs, so I'm not alone in thinking it's an event to be marked!
Personally I favour a huge cake, a sad movie and a girlie mum and daughter evening snuggled on the sofa. (actually I favour this every month!)
What would you do? Or do you think I'm weird?
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